Driving overseas

At just $39, an International Driving Permit allows you to drive overseas and offers other benefits too

Why do I need an International Driving Permit?

  • International Driving Permits (IDPs) entitle the holder to drive in all counteracting countries without further examination. Check the International Driving Permit requirements of your destination before you travel.
  • It is a requirement for renting a car in many countries. Failure to do so may constitute a criminal or civil offence and may have more serious consequences.
  • It can trigger an exclusion under your travel insurance policy if claiming for loss caused while driving a motor vehicle overseas.
  • Provides an additional form of photo ID if your passport is locked away in a safe place.
  • In most cases, your current Australian driving licence is not enough alone when driving in a foreign country. It must be complemented with an International Driving Permit.
  • A valid IDP permits you to drive in most foreign countries in case of an emergency under normal IDP conditions.

How does an International Driving Permit work?

  • Your IDP carries your identification details in nine languages (English, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, German, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, French) in case you need to communicate with foreign authorities.
  • It is valid for 12 months from the date of issue unless the holder's domestic driving licence expires or is revoked in the meantime. IDPs cannot be post-dated under any circumstances.
  • It is not a stand-alone document or substitute for a valid driving licence - it must be carried with your current domestic driving licence at all times.
  • It in no way diminishes the obligation of the holder to conform strictly to the laws and regulations of the countries you visit.
  • Can only be issued to people over 18 years of age with a valid Australian licence (includes P-plate).
  • Cannot be issued to learner driver permit holders.

How do I apply for an International Driving Permit?

Only RACV and constituent members of the AAA (Australian Automobile Association) are authorised to issue International Driving Permits. To obtain an IDP you can apply by post or in person at your nearest RACV Shop.

Apply online:

Visit www.internationaldrivingpermit.com.au to apply for an IDP online.

Apply in person:

  • Visit your nearest RACV Shop
  • Bring your current Australian Drivers Licence
  • Provide a recent passport size and style photo*

Apply by post:

  • Complete the International Driving Permit application form (PDF 178KB)
  • Attach a clear copy of your current Australian Driver's Licence (both front and back)
  • Provide a recent passport size and style photo*
  • Include payment plus the cost of return postage (as detailed on application form)
  • Post your application to: RACV Shop, 550 Princes Highway, Noble Park North, VIC, 3174, Australia

*NOTE: Passport photos must be on photographic quality paper. Standard copy paper will not be accepted. Head shot cut outs from 'other' photos will not be accepted. IDP photos are available for purchase at selected RACV Shops.

If you are already overseas, another option is to send your application to a family member or friend who can arrange the IDP on your behalf and send it back to you. 

If you are applying for or requesting the reissue of an International Driving Permit (IDP) from overseas, you are also required to provide:

  • proof that you are not resident in the country from which you are making the application (e.g. Copy of Australian passport)
  • proof of travel plans to other countries (e.g. Travel agent itinerary), and
  • the date of your return to Australia (e.g. Visa)

Travelling to Sri Lanka?

We wish to inform you that the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) is authorised to issue International Driving Permits (IDP) under the 1947 Convention on production of their Sri Lanka driving licence. But when a foreigner arrives in Sri Lanka, with an IDP, under the Motor Car (Convention) Ordinance No.25 of 1932 and amended by Ordinance No.26 of 1935 the holder of the IDP should obtain a Recognition Permit from us in order to drive/ride in Sri Lanka with the foreign licence and the IDP.

Since this document is mandatory in the country from 1932, the hiring car local agents will not lend vehicles to any foreigner. Please note the Recognition Permit is only applicable in Sri Lanka.

Furthermore, in case of an accident, the Insurance claim will be rejected in the absence of the Recognition Permit. Several insurance claims had been not accepted in the past without this document.

The Secretary of the AAC at the FIA Convention, when addressing regarding the issue of IDPs in Sri Lanka, this item was mentioned that there is a requirement to obtain a Recognition Permit from the AAC on the production of their country IDP with a fee.

The cost of the Recognition Permit is AU$35.

Driving in Vietnam?

AAA is still getting a lot of queries in regards to an IDP for Vietnam.  An Australian IDP is not recognised in Vietnam. According to the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam, Vietnam accepts IDPs issued by countries who are members of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic 1968, for which Australia is not a member. Australia is under the 1949 Convention.

You are required to have a valid Vietnam drivers licence to drive in Vietnam for all vehicles, including motorcycles of 50cc or more. Non-Vietnamese citizens are only permitted to drive in Vietnam if they hold a temporary Vietnamese drivers licence. Fines for driving without a valid driver’s licence vary.

For a temporary Vietnamese driver's licence, the applicant must hold a valid Vietnamese residence permit of at least three (3) months validity.

In Hanoi, applications for temporary driver's licences should be directed to the Hanoi Urban Transport Management and Operation Centre, 16 Cao Ba Quat Street, telephone (04) 3747 0029, fax (04) 3747 0024. In Ho Chi Minh City, applications should be directed here.

Temporarily taking your car overseas

How long will it take to ship my car overseas?

You can start preparing your vehicle for shipping from a couple of months or up to more than a year depending on where you are shipping your car to.

The time it will take to ship car will vary and it is dependent on how many times a month there are sailings.  

For rates and more information on what is required please email General Cargo Forwarders at enquiries@generalcargo.com.au.

Do I need comprehensive car insurance while overseas?

Australian insurance companies won’t insure your car while it is overseas so you will have to find a company that will insure your vehicle while touring around other countries.

For classic cars please contact Hagertys Insurance for options on insurance.

Checklist

  • Shipping Company
  • Shipping Insurance
  • Carnet De Passage en Douane
  • Current RACV membership
  • Third Party Insurance
  • Comprehensive car insurance
  • International Driving Permit
  • CCI – if required
  • Contact Australian Customs for requirements on bringing your car back to Australia

For more information please call RACV HolidayLine on 13 13 29 between 9am – 5:00pm Monday to Friday.

Indonesia carnet

The AIT/FIA CPD has been officially accepted for the temporary importation of motor vehicles into Indonesia.
The Ikatan Motor Indonesia (IMI) is the only guaranteeing & issuing association that is authorised to operate with CPDs. The Indonesian Customs and the Police Authorities are to register all foreign vehicles entering into the country. IMI advises to follow the procedure below in order to facilitate the temporary importation and reduce the waiting times at the local customs posts.

1. IMI recommends that CPD users - through their issuing clubs - inform IMI in advance that they are going to travel to the country.
2. IMI would consequently inform the corresponding local customs posts and police authorities via email by sending an endorsement or “recommendation letter” for the vehicle to be temporarily imported.
3. The IMI might also request other details and information to provide to their authorities, so by the time when the vehicle enters Indonesia, the Police has already all the details concerning the vehicle and then it is authorised to drive immediately at arrival.

Malaysia carnet

Any private vehicle entering Malaysia needs a CPD and International Circulation Permit (ICP) to enter into the country. The temporary importation of private road vehicles to Malaysia is for only 90 days. This period may only be extended once only for a further 90 days. After these periods totalling 180 days, the vehicle must be exported, or registered in Malaysia, at which time all necessary duties, taxes and fees would have to be paid.

In Malaysia you are required to obtain an International Circulation Permit (ICP) before entering into Malaysia. This temporary permit is for foreign registered vehicles for tourist whilst travelling in Malaysia. To obtain this permit, the CPD holder must get in contact with the Automobile Association of Malaysia. (MAA) along with this ICP the CPD holder is required also obtain 3rd party insurance before the release of vehicles from Customs. For more information, please click here.

North America carnet

AIT-FIA Network have confirmed that the Corporation for International Business Boomerang Carnets (sm) has been appointed as the new Service provider of CPD services for Canada and the USA as of 1 January 2016.

The CPD processing and distribution services will be offered under the brand name Boomerang Carnets for AAA (American Automobile Association) and CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) member’s as well as non-members in both the USA and Canada.
Boomerang Carnets
Corporation for International Business (CIB)
325 North Hough Street, 2nd Floor
Barrington, IL 60010 USA
E: carnets@atacarnet.com
Website   

Sweden carnet

The Swedish Motormannens Riksforbund (M) has announced its withdrawal from the CPD system. It will no longer continue to offer a custom service to club members and Swedish travellers. From the 1st October 2015, M will cease to issue Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPDs).

The Swedish Club will remain responsible for customs documents issued by its office until all outstanding customs claims and customs litigation are resolved.

United Kingdom carnet

The Royal Automobile Club, London, UK (RAC) Motoring Services has announced its withdrawal from the CPD system. It will no longer continue to offer the customs service to club members and British Travellers, from the 1st January 2016 RAC will cease to issue Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPDs).

The British Club will remain responsible for customs documents issued by its offices until all outstanding customs claims and customs litigation are resolved.

A process has been put in place by FIA to look for a new association willing to keep on providing this service to the British travellers.

  • International Driving Requirements

    International Driving Permit (IDP)

    Side of road to drive

  • Argentina

    Recommended

    Right

  • Armenia

    Required

    Left

  • Austria

    Required

    Right

  • Bahrain

    Required. For private vehicles provided it is endorsed by the Traffic & Licensing Directorate or a Bahraini car rental company on arrival (for 12 months)

    Right

  • Belarus

    Recommended

    Right

  • Belgium

    Required

    Right

  • Bolivia

    Required

    Right

  • Bosnia & Herzigovnia

    Not Required. However stays of more than 6 months require a certified translation of the National Licence into Bosnian

    Right

  • Brazil

    Not Required. National driving licence accompanied by an official translation (done by a sworn public translator or by an Embassy of Brazil) and a photo id required

    Right

  • Bulgaria

    Required

    Right

  • Canada

    Recommended for car hire

    Right

  • Chile

    Required

    Right

  • Colombia

    Required

    Right

  • Costa Rica

    Recommended

    Right

  • Croatia

    Recommended

    Right

  • Cyprus

    Recommended

    Left

  • Czech Republic

    Required

    Right

  • Denmark

    Recommended

    Right

  • Ecuador

    Recommended

    Right

  • El Salvador

    Recommended

    Right

  • Estonia

    Recommended

    Right

  • Finland

    Recommended

    Right

  • France

    Required

    Right

  • Germany

    Strongly Recommended

    Right

  • Greece

    Required

    Right

  • Hong Kong

    Recommended

    Left

  • Hungary

    Not Required

    Right

  • Iceland

    Recommended

    Right

  • India

    Required

    Left

  • Indonesia

    Recommended

    Left

  • Iran

    Required

    Right

  • Ireland

    Recommended

    Left

  • Israel

    Recommended

    Right

  • Italy

    Required or sworn Italian translation of Australian driving licence

    Right

  • Jamaica

    Required

    Left

  • Japan

    Required

    Left

  • Jordan

    Required

    Right

  • Kenya

    Recommended

    Left

  • Korea

    Required

    Right

  • Kuwait

    Required

    Right

  • Latvia

    Recommended

    Right

  • Lebanon

    Required

    Right

  • Lithuania

    Recommended

    Right

  • Macedonia (FYROM)

    Recommended

    Right

  • Malaysia

    Required

    Left

  • Malta

    Recommended

    Left

  • Mexico

    Recommended

    Right

  • Moldavia

    Not Required

    Right

  • Mozambique

    Recommended

    Left

  • Namibia

    Recommended

    Left

  • Netherlands

    Not Required

    Right

  • New Zealand

    Not Required

    Left

  • Norway

    Not Required

    Right

  • Oman

    Recommended

    Right

  • Pakistan

    Required

    Left

  • Paraguay

    Required

    Right

  • Peru

    Recommended

    Right

  • Philippines

    Recommended

    Right

  • Poland

    Required

    Right

  • Portugal

    Recommended

    Right

  • Qatar

    Recommended International Driving Permits (1949, 1968) for 15 days; local temporary driving Licence issued by Licensing Authority on presentation of national driving licence

    Right

  • Romania

    Required

    Right

  • Russia

    Recommended

    Right

  • Saudi Arabia

    Required

    Right

  • Senegal

    Recommended

    Right

  • Serbia

    Recommended

    Right

  • Singapore

    Recommended

    Left

  • Slovenia

    Required

    Right

  • South Africa

    Recommended

    Left

  • Spain

    Required

    Right

  • Sri Lanka

    Required

    Left

  • Sweden

    Not Required

    Right

  • Switzerland

    Recommended

    Right

  • Thailand

    Required

    Left

  • The Slovak Republic

    Recommended

    Right

  • Trinidad and Tobago (West Indies)

    Required

    Left

  • Tunisia

    Required

    Right

  • Turkey

    Required

    Right

  • Uganda

    Recommended

    Left

  • Ukraine

    Recommended

    Right

  • United Arab Emirates

    Required

    Right

  • United Kingdom

    Not Required

    Left

  • United States of America

    Recommended

    Right

  • Yemen

    Recommended

    Right

  • Zimbabwe

    Recommended

    Left